Often organizations focus on efficiency, rather than effectivity, limiting their ability to become a “High Performing Organization.” Efficiency is the ratio of effective output to the total input, whereas effectivity is the percentage of resources spent making direct input to the development and creation of products and services delivered to customers. Simply put, successful organizations can sustain success by focusing and working on the right things. Too often key leaders are consumed with meetings, reports and “firefighting”. Many ask what steps are needed to allow organizations to focus and work on the right things.
In the early 1980’s, with his book In Search of Excellence, Tom Peters established key concepts of what makes organizations effective. However, numerous Fortune 500 companies used as examples have since fallen from their position. Even more recently, Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, details findings from 11 companies offering a road map to excellence. Two of those companies, Fannie Mae and Circuit City, are either bankrupt or needed government intervention. What is missing for successful organizations to sustain this success?
Les has helped organizations by refocusing leadership team behaviors and providing a framework for cultural change. He begins by reshaping the leadership team agenda to focus on the highest priority actions directly connected to customers needs. The key elements of this action learning process are as follows:
- Ensuring the right people are involved in the key issues.
- Identifying the pivot points in the business model
- Creating an atmosphere of candor.
- Relentless follow up on goals.
- Clarifying priorities and decision making criteria.
- Establishing measures wherever possible.
- The courage to confront.
This action learning process over a 6-12 month period, has yielded the following benefits for many of his clients:
- Base-cost reduction.
- Predictable and improved financial performance.
- Shorter, more focused meetings.
- Unclogged arteries / improved communications.
- Greater customer satisfaction.
- The ability to sustain performance through continuous evaluation.
Clients have found significant improvements even by selecting parts of the process to implement. Specifically, one company with 50+ years of operations had its most successful year after implementing Les’ process.